Top-10 national math finish, No. 6 state rank for FHS

These FHS teachers either won an award or contributed to a winning effort — or both — in recent weeks and months. Holly Matthews, second from left, an FHS librarian, earned Tennessee Association of School Librarians Innovative Library Award. Andi Tenry, second from right, a counselor, led the way toward the school winning a Project U Award from Coordinated School Health Association for its efforts to promote goodwill while “breaking down walls” among students. Art teachers Georgia Vogel, far right, and Erin Kalb, far left, contributed to that effort. The award earned a $500 mini-grant.
The summer months have been fruitful for Farragut High School, as its principal discovered a prestigious state ranking while a 20-member math contest contingent collected a top-10 national finish.

Ranked No. 6 among Tennessee’s best public high schools according to, “I saw it (Thursday, Aug. 2). Apparently it’s been up a while,” FHS principal Ryan Siebe said.

“I wasn’t surprised; I mean, Farragut is an incredible school and we know that,” he added. “... We’re continually trying to tweak what we do to make sure that we meet the needs of all of those parties.” criteria includes Academic Grade (60 percent weight), Culture and Diversity Grade (10 percent), Parent-Student Surveys on Overall Experience (10 percent) and Teachers Grade (salary, absenteeism, state test results and survey responses, 10 percent).

Though FHS has lost some of its talented teachers over recent years due to retirement or higher-paying jobs elsewhere, “I’ve been incredibly proud of the teacher recruitment,” Siebe said. “As people leave for life or whatever, we’ve been able to bring in top-quality candidates.

“I think that we will continue to see that with these types of ranking systems, we will continue to improve,” he added.

Bearden High School was ranked 18th by, with Hardin Valley Academy finishing 22nd.

10th in Mu Alpha Theta

With its 20-member math team in Colorado Springs, Colorado, July 6-13, Farragut captured 10th place in National Mu Alpha Theta Math Competition among “several hundred chapters,” said FHS math teacher Angie Buckman. “More than 110,000 students are Mu Alpha Theta members in 2,400 schools and 20 nations.”

One of the top performers in Colorado Springs was Eric Wang, Class of 2018 salutatorian. “He won some individual awards also,” said Buckman, who was assisted by fellow FHS math teacher Kelly Gruhn.

As for Buckman, who begins her 12th year at FHS in 2018-19, she was honored with the Mu Alpha Theta Huneke Award.

“This award is saying she is the premier sponsor, nationally, for Mu Alpha Theta,” Siebe said.

“I was nominated by my students,” Buckman said. “They filled out an application. We, in turn, won a $1,000 chapter grant.

“We will use that to both put on the Mini Mu Event,” she added about an FHS-sponsored math competition for third-, fourth- and fifth-graders in December and sixth- and seventh-graders in February that earned the school an award, “and to apply toward our travel next year to Las Vegas for the national convention.”